What was once a mundane, manual and tiring process in call centers is now fully automated and efficient with the emergence of Predictive Dialers. Predictive Dialers revolutionized the way contact centers perform outbound campaigns. Contact centers enjoyed exemplary growth in sales, profits, agent productivity, and customer satisfaction. This led to the explosion of predictive dialer platforms flooding the industry. With so many dialers, it becomes difficult for organizations to choose a really good one. Predictive Dialers are not all created equally, and in this post we are going to take a look at what a Predictive Dialer is, and what to look for in one. Let’s get started.
What is a Predictive Dialer?
Predictive Dialer is an automated telephone system that automatically calls a pre-uploaded list of numbers in parallel or sequence while routing connected calls to available agents. On the assumption that not all calls will be connected, predictive dialers use statistical algorithms to slow down or speed up the call rates based on connected calls, average call time, average wrap-up time, available agents, available lines and other statistical data. This minimizes agent waiting time and call drops dramatically.
The Must-Haves in a Predictive Dialer
With so many predictive dialers in the industry, choosing the right one is not an easy task. But to make your lives easier, we have compiled a list of must-have predictive dialer technologies to be sure that you have what you paid for.
- Answering Machine Detection – Predictive dialers mindlessly call one number after another and some of them end up in an answering machine. Talking to an answering machine is of little use to your agent. Efficient predictive dialers can determine whether a call is answered by a person or an answering machine. If the call is answered by a machine, the dialer will not route the call to the agent but will hang up the call after leaving a pre-recorded message
- Disposition Codes – To save agents’ time and systemize the entire calling process, predictive dialers use call disposition codes that allow agents to update the final outcome of the call. Disposition codes are descriptions of the call outcome which are updated in the contact’s profile and call log. For example, disposition codes could be labelled: “Busy”, “Answering Machine”, “Disconnected”, “Issue Resolved”, “Call Transferred”, etc. The supervisor can then quickly glance through the log lists to know the exact outcome of the call.
- Seamless CRM Integration – Once an agent hangs up a call, simultaneously another call is routed. This leaves the agent with very little time to prep for the call. Predictive dialer integrated with a CRM system displays relevant and concise customer context on the agent’s’ screen for their perusal. Agents can view customer’s profile, previous interactions, tickets, and more in one interface.
- TCPA Compliance – The TCPA was enacted in 1991 to protect consumers from annoying solicitors and telemarketing calls. It states that companies are not allowed to call consumers unless they have expressed their prior consent to receive such calls. With rising lawsuits against violators, companies are looking for a way out of such allegations. Smart dialers filter out the numbers listed in the DNC registry, allowing contact centers to dial numbers that have opted-in for telemarketing and advertising calls.
- SMS and Email Integration – Send auto-responses automatically after a call or have agents to preview the message before sending them. This allows agents to quickly wrap-up a call and move on to the next call improving overall operational efficiency.
- PACE – PACE (Pro Active Connect Enhancer) is a revolution by itself in outbound dialing strategy. Working in conjunction with predictive dialers, PACE defines contact strategies to dial numbers based on past interaction history and profile of customers. By configuring situational rules in the platform, PACE ensures that the dialing is intelligent rather than random. With PACE, predictive dialers are able to determine the best time to contact the customer.
- Dial Time Zone Restrictions – Based on the area code of the number you are dialing, intelligent auto dialers can automatically adjust call time frames that are suitable for the respective zones. This tool will then restrict the numbers that fit a different time zone, and will be pushed to be called later. By skewing the numbers based on time-zones will improve connect rates and overall performance.
- Retry Logics – To optimize the outbound dialing strategy of contact center, retry logics are configured in the dialer for every unsuccessful call. Different retry strategies can be set for different outcomes. An unanswered call can be retried after 1 hour, busy after 30 minutes, etc., with a predefined number of retries.
- Custom Dialing – You can only expect the lead/contact list that was uploaded in the system to be of high-quality. A typical contact list will have a fair share of toll-free numbers that needs to be erased from the list. With conditional dialing embedded in your call center dialer, supervisors have the option of filtering out toll-free numbers based on the initial digits of the number. The supervisor could easily filter out numbers starting with ‘1800’ which are clearly toll-free numbers.
- Local Presence Caller ID – To improve the chances of the contact answering the call, agents can customize their outbound caller ID to match the area code of the contact.